NAACP Condemns UNC System’s Plan to Roll Back DEI Policies

NAACP Condemns UNC System’s Plan to Roll Back DEI Policies

RALEIGH, NC – The NAACP North Carolina State Conference stands in strong opposition to the recent proposal from the UNC Board of Governors’ Committee on University Governance to eliminate the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) policy adopted in 2017. This proposed rollback threatens to undo critical progress made in creating equitable and inclusive educational environments for all students, particularly those from marginalized communities.

Deborah Maxwell, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference, stated:

“As we witness the alarming proposal by the UNC Board of Governors to dismantle DEI initiatives, we are reminded of the importance of our fight for justice and equity in education. The elimination of these policies is a direct attack on the progress we have made in addressing systemic inequalities that affect Black, Brown, disabled, LGBTQ+, and rural students, among others. We cannot allow the clock to be turned back on decades of hard-fought advancements that have made our educational institutions more inclusive and supportive.”

The UNC system, governing 250,000 students across 16 public universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, plays a pivotal role in shaping the future of our state. The proposed defunding of DEI initiatives and the UNC Center for Civil Rights not only jeopardizes the academic success of marginalized students but also undermines efforts to address historical injustices such as school segregation and environmental racism.

Francesca Mitchell, President of the NAACP North Carolina State Conference Youth & College Division, added:

“As Youth & College President for the North Carolina NAACP State Conference, I cannot stress enough how critical it is for all of us to oppose the UNC Board of Governors’ plan to eliminate DEI programs and the jobs connected to these programs from the UNC System. This decision is not only reckless but also dangerous as it follows the extreme tactics in Florida and Texas, where Black history, diverse narratives, and resources for students of color are being systematically erased from public universities. This move also endangers progress at our PWI institutions and our HBCUs in North Carolina as it not only reverses decades of progress that have created a more inclusive environment for students and staff, but it also diminishes the validity of our HBCUs which are founded on the basic principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Instead of embracing, improving, and maintaining DEI programs, the Board of Governors is seeking to re-install a system of separatism and intolerance. By dismantling these programs and removing associated staff, we risk triggering a domino effect that will strip away resources and opportunities for Black and Brown students across North Carolina’s public institutions.”


The NAACP North Carolina State Conference urges all stakeholders, including college presidents, HBCU leaders, alumni networks, collegiate staff, and students, to unite in opposition to this regressive proposal. We must protect the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion that are fundamental to our educational institutions and ensure that every student has the opportunity to thrive in a supportive environment.

North Carolina NAACP

Founded in 1943, the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches (NAACP North Carolina State Conference) is the oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization in North Carolina, overseeing the programmatic work of over 120 NAACP branches, youth councils, and college chapters. The NAACP North Carolina State Conference is focused on advocating for policies and programs to benefit Blacks and people of color.


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